I have been so busy this last month, fighting germs and infections, dealing with some major home renovations, the mess and the dirt and the constant brewing up for builders, and juggling the four children on top. Subsequently, my blogging has had to take a back seat, unable to dedicate the time to not only writing new posts but reading others too. And actually, it has been a real eye opener, the realisation that blogging is very much a full time job!
I read other blogs, ones that have had such monumental success, and I wonder how do they manage it? Whilst I am still scrolling through the hundreds of tweets they have shared each day, they’ve managed to produce yet another amazing blog post, shared across five different forms of social media, and updated their Instagram page with ten beautifully taken, meticulously edited, photographs. And I am in awe of their ability to do that whilst juggling children, a home, a relationship, a life, and I hail them all as Supermamas for sure. But am I willing to sacrifice my life to join them? Absolutely not.
When I started this blog it was for my own personal reasons, fighting an illness that was affecting me in so many ways, the need to claw something back, force my brain into gear and document our memories as the children grow. When others began to read my blog I was amazed, I still am, and I realised that there is a whole world out there in the “blogosphere” that I knew nothing about. I don’t blog for financial reward, although if that did happen then I would be crazy to turn it down, nor do I promote myself or pitch for free products, services or exotic holidays, but again, what amazing opportunities should they come our way. I blog, quite simply, because I love to write. Writing is what I do.
And yet somewhere along the last few months I have found myself juggling so much more than just a hobby. Each day there are numerous link ups to share my posts on, there are guest posts and interviews and the relentless juggling act of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and social media channels that I had never even heard of until now. And although I enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, I am struggling with the authencity of writing a blog about being a Mummy when there are times that, due to my blog, I am missing out on just that. Being a Mummy.
So this week, when the germs were finally starting to shift, I had good intentions of writing a post. I had sat myself down at the computer, shut the office door and tried to drown out the sound of the kids playing in the back room. And as I sat there, mentally drafting my post about the joys of being a Mummy, it hit me that actually, I would so much rather be living it. And so I switched off the computer, pulled on my coat and off we went to the park, where I listened to the sound of my children’s laughter and felt the first of the Spring sunshine on my face, and I asked myself, what is really important to me?
Perhaps my time management needs adjusting, perhaps I need to organise myself better, work around the children more, plan in advance and get on top of my posts. Perhaps I am doing this all wrong and could find the time to produce more blog posts, to make my presence better known on social media. And yet to whose detriment? Twice last week I missed out on bedtime kisses and cuddles due to finishing off a blog post, and by the time that I had finished the children were fast asleep. More than once I had to ask my parents to watch the children so that I could catch up on some work that needed doing, unable to find enough hours in the day. But when my son asks me to help with his homework, or my daughters ask me to play Hungry Hippos, or my youngest just wants a cuddle, I don’t ever want the time to come where I have to tell them, Sorry baby no, Mummy has work to do. Mummy is busy. Mummy needs to go into the office and write about being a Mummy instead of laying down here on the carpet, building a den from the couch cushions and pretending to be fairies.
Blogging really can take over your life, to the point that you look at things very differently, you see things from the perspective of a reader or a viewer or the angle which you will write about later that evening. But where does it end? Never being able to leave the house without documenting your plans for the day, the new dress that your daughter wears, your sons meticulously planned outfit? Never being able to eat a meal without sharing it on social media, snap shotting it from every angle and hash tagging it to death? Never fully enjoying a day out with the children because your head is racing with a thousand other thoughts, interrupting the fun as you ask your little ones to pose for yet another photo?
Because it’s a blog eat blog world out there, a relentless battle to make your voice stand out amongst the thousands of others. And what if there are days when you simply have nothing more to say? When there is nothing to share, no photos to take, no adventures to relay. What about when you are just so bone tired that all you want to do is put on your pyjamas, climb into bed and sleep? Because blogging was something that started out as just a bit of fun, not something that I felt obligated to do in order to maintain any level of interest. For me, it is so important that I produce posts that I have taken my time over, carefully edited and ultimately, that I am proud of. Writing is so important to me and I would hate to compromise with something that I didn’t feel was quite right just to meet a daily quota, And I think for me, had I wanted to spend my days holed up in the office tapping away at a computer, I would never have chosen to be a stay at home Mummy. It’s all about balance.
I have a blogger friend, who shall remain anonymous, who recently confessed to me that she has taken to driving to various locations to photograph her child, in a variety of outfits, on the days when she has nothing else to share. And that’s really not what this is supposed to be about, is it? I want to share my children and our lives, the totally mundane as well as those lovely special occasions. I want to look back in years to come and read factual accounts of what life was like, be that the rough or the smooth, not fictional tales of the perfect life, my children rigidly posing and smiling at the camera. And now, as they grow, I want to join in and enjoy our time together, not spend it mentally preparing the plot for my latest blog post or staging a scene for the perfect capture. I want to catch them unaware, with chocolate on their faces and mud on their knees, a quick snap here and there, while I’m out living our lives together.
Because life was not designed to be lived through the lens of a camera, nor overheard from the confines of an office. Life is about enjoying the moments, of which we all like to capture some on film, but it’s not the be all and end all. It’s okay sometimes to just live those moments, without a phone in our hands or a camera up to our faces, and just be.
So maybe I’m not a blogger afterall. Maybe I’m just a Mummy who likes to write, who, whenever I get a spare moment, can just about manage to get my words out in the right order, to make sense of all of the weird and wonderful thoughts in my head and share them with a bunch of people who actually quite like to read it. And I’m not even sure exactly what that makes me, but I think that the most important thing is that, ultimately, it makes me happy.